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I. The Investigating Question - vs. 13-14 (A question of public opinion)
A. The Significance of the Place - Caesaria Philippi - the center of idol worship.
1. The pagan God, Pan, and others were worshipped there. The Greeks believed that their god was born in the grave. Half goat, half man they believed this god to be the guardian of nature.
2. The area was built by Herod Philp to honor Caesar - there was a marble temple that once stood here. The citizens of the area had to enter at least once per year and proclaim, “Caesar is Lord!” In the midst of the place of pagan, man-made gods, Jesus asked: “Whom do men say that I am?”
B. The Searching of their Perceptions - What do others think?
1. Could it be to see the influence of the world on the disciples?
- John the Baptist - Herod thought Jesus was John raised (Mark 6:14)
- Elijah - Miracles, clear and even confrontational preaching
- Jeremiah - Compassion - he was the “man of sorrows”
2. Could it be to see the admission of the World?
They admitted that he had the message of a prophet! One of the prophets -
As if they would would accept Him as anyone but the Messiah!
3. Could it be a confrontation to the thoughts of Others.
- the Pharisees said that Jesus had “a devil, and is mad” John 10:20.
- His friends, probably people with whom he grew up, said “ He is beside himself.” Mark 3:21
- the Scribes said he had “Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils,” Mark 3:22.
- Later, the Sanhedrin would declare that Jesus was a blasphemer - Mt 25
Jesus questioned - What are others telling you about me? He began with an investigation.
II. The Identifying Question - vs. 15
A. It is a Probing Question - Whom say ye?
1. There are those that are Totally Wrong about His identity
- The Jews believed Him to be a great teacher, some still do, but not God
- Moslems call Him a prophet, but deny His crucifixion and deity
- Hindus put him with their many gods
- Atheists hate His name, some deny He existed (proving they are fools)
- Mormons believe He and Lucifer are equals and brothers
- Jehovah’s Witnesses believe He is merely a created being, but good
- The agnostic is just not sure
- Then there are those that believe He was only
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